Teaching with Candy Hearts
Early Elementary Lessons
With a pile of hearts, Eli had to figure out how many each of us would get if he divided the group into fair shares. He had to decide what to do with the leftovers, too.
We practiced the ABC’s by finding each letter printed somewhere on the hearts.
We love making concrete graphs! Eli has practiced many times with bar graphs, so this time I made sure to introduce making a circle graph.
To begin transferring concrete bar graphs to written graphs, I asked Eli to make a bar graph with his candy hearts. Then, I asked him to draw his own graph on a chalkboard. Why a chalkboard? Both because we had colored chalk to match the colors of the candy and because chalk encourages a more tactile experience than pencil and paper.
Middle and High School Lessons
This was a fun twist on measuring area. Instead of placing candy on a prepared heart to determine the area, I gave my children a small pile of candy and said, “Take a look at the pile and cut out a heart that you estimate has the correct area.” We did this a few times with different sized piles of candy to improve estimation skills.
The next several pictures show a variety of graphing and probability activities. Bar graphs, stem and plot graphs, histograms and more were created.
We also had fun placing several different numbers of each color in a bag to predict and test the probability of drawing each color.
Our day wasn’t all math related. We had fun with some science experiments, too. In the first two pictures, we experimented with the rate candy hearts dissolve in various acid and base mixtures.
The final picture shows the results of an erosion experiment (disclosure: link to my book.) We placed one heart in water and let it stand still. The second heart was placed in the same amount of water, but we shook the container for three minutes. In the end, we talked about how this models why jagged rocks eventually become small, smooth pebbles.
We literally could have gone on for a week learning with candy hearts. Look at the list of ideas we came up with at co-op!
Whether you use candy hearts or another variety of colored candy, make it a fun day once in a while!